Internships: Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City, MO
Intern: Hunter Nelson, Junior, English
Faculty Supervisor: Don Hedrick, Professor, English
Course: ENGL 495 English Internship (External)
Semester: Summer 2017
As a literary intern at Unicorn Theatre, Hunter’s main responsibility was evaluating scripts for the Theatre’s staged readings of new plays. Reflecting the mission statement of the theater, the plays often focus on provocative social and cultural topics. Together with other interns, Hunter combed through the scripts, evaluated them, and gave recommendations to the literary manager. Hunter also helped digitize and update the script archive. In addition, he shadowed staff at the theater, working on the front of the theater, leading pre-show audience engagement games, and participating in post-show talk-backs. During the internship, Hunter also attended the theater’s artistic meetings and helped develop a new education/outreach program for students and community members who are interested in learning about play writing and analysis. Participants of the program read and discussed plays, viewed play rehearsals and productions, and participated in talk-backs after the show.
Through this experience, Hunter learned how to critically read scripts, how to collaborate with others in a theater office, and the various aspects of play procurement and production. Hunter found the experience “immensely enjoyable. The office is a great place to work in and the staff is amazing. I can read plays all day long and still enjoy myself.”
Hunter’s faculty supervisor Professor Don Hedrick was equally pleased with this internship. “Hunter was perfectly paired with a small but prestigious theater company, where he was able to receive experience and training in almost every aspect of theater work, from vetting new plays to the business side of the company. Especially satisfying for Hunter was to have a direct hand in encouraging new, creative plays through reading and judging decisions.”
For fellow students who are considering internships, Hunter stressed that it is “all about making good impression and connections from the start of the process. Make yourself readily available to learn new things. I didn’t know everything, but I was ready to say yes, and they felt they could utilize me for more and greater responsibilities.”
Hunter’s experience at Unicorn and the professional relationships he forged have landed him an even bigger opportunity: an internship at Roundabout Theatre Company, a Broadway non-for-profit theatre in New York City!